In search of the magic weight loss supplement?
If you are, you don’t have to look any further, he’s (not) here.
The market for weight loss supplements is huge for a reason.
There’s a lot of demand.
The truth is, unfortunately, there’s no miracle product for losing weight.
There are no pills that make you lose 5kg in 1 week, and no shakes that will train for you.
So what’s with the 5-HTP?
There is no miracle supplement, but there are good products that can help you. And less good too, like CLA, which do little or nothing.
5-HTP belongs in the first category, and in this article you’ll understand why.
How do you lose weight?
Before you think about supplements, you should know how you lose weight, because no supplement alone will do that for you.
The opposite of losing weight is getting fat, but what’s the big difference between them?
What makes a person gain weight, or lose weight instead?
A person who ingests more calories than they burn will get fat.
A person who takes in fewer calories than they spend will lose weight.
This is the basics of weight and fat loss.
Any diet for weight loss follows this principle, strange as it may be.
So, what does this have to do with the best weight loss supplement?
The best weight loss supplement
It is important to take into account how you lose weight, only then to define what is the best weight loss supplement.
When someone looks for a product of this kind, they look for something that, when they take it, directly reduces weight and fat.
Unfortunately, there is no really effective supplement in this task, so we have opted for a different approach.
To lose weight you need fewer calories, and to reduce calories you need to eat less, or eat better.
Instead of a supplement that in theory burns fat directly, how about one that helps with calorie control?
5-HTP is a very interesting amino acid, and little known. It doesn’t burn fat directly, but it helps a lot in the process.
How does it help?
When you’re looking to lose weight, you usually reduce carbohydrates.
This in conjunction with calorie reduction brings some problems such as irritability, difficulty in falling asleep and desire to eat, especially sweets.
Have you ever been through this?
This is partly because carbohydrates are essential for Tryptophan – an essential amino acid – to be transformed into Serotonin.
The more you reduce carbohydrates, the more likely it is that you will lower your levels of this neurotransmitter, and the stress your body will be under as you try to lose weight doesn’t help either.
Serotonin is known for its importance for good mood and good mood, but it also plays an essential role in appetite and sleep.
5-HTP is converted into Serotonin, and unlike Tryptophan, it does not share the same absorption problems as carbohydrates.
What does this mean in practice?
In practice you will have three essential benefits, which are basically interlinked.
First, it will make it easier for you to eat fewer calories by increasing satiety.
But not only that.
By sleeping better, you will achieve a superior recovery, and since sleep deprivation is associated with weight gain, it will help your goal of losing weight.
In fact, according to this study, one night of poor sleep is enough to raise your ghrelin levels, and the higher levels of this hormone are present, the hungrier you will feel.
Finally, if you feel miserable and in a bad mood, not only will it be harder to follow your weight loss program, but you’ll probably make a few potatoes. And annoy some people, too.
A positive attitude will help you to actually lose weight, successfully, and without giving up in the middle.
No, the 5-HTP wasn’t chosen at random, and it’s not just theory. There are some studies that analyze its effectiveness on weight loss.
Here are two interesting studies that demonstrate its results in practice, and above all, in humans.
You will find the references for each one at the end of the article.
Less weight, (even) without diet
A group of twenty obese people was selected, in which half of them received a 5-HTP supplementation, and the other half did not.
The study was divided into two phases.
In the first phase, none of the groups followed any diet for six weeks.
In the second phase, a specific and similar diet was recommended for both groups.
There was significant weight loss in the group that used 5-HTP, not only during the diet phase but also in the first phase without diet.
In addition, this group not only ended up eating fewer carbohydrates but also felt satiated earlier at mealtimes.
The 5-HTP and the brain
This year a very interesting study was published, with 14 healthy participants, and analyzed whether or not 5-HTP influenced the brain’s response to food.
Half of the group received a 5-HTP supplement, while the other half received Vitamin C.
Not only did 5-HTP influence areas of the brain that regulate appetite, but it also promoted greater control and evaluation of the food eaten.
The conclusion of the study was simple.
“This supplementation promoted behaviors that led to healthy body weight, and a preference for protein-rich foods.”
How should I take it?
5-HTP should be taken about 30 minutes before meals and/or before bed, as it can make you sleepy.
It should be taken on or near an empty stomach and doses range from 200mg to 400mg per day.
Start with as little as possible to see your response to this supplement, and only then, if necessary, should you increase the dose.
50/100mg before sleeping to start is a good starting point.
Please note, these recommendations are for healthy people. If you have any health problems, or especially if you are taking any kind of medication, you should consult your doctor.
Finally, it is not a good idea to take this supplement forever, and it may be necessary to use L-Tyrosine if you intend to use it in the long term to avoid imbalances.
Where to buy?
There are several 5-HTP supplements on the market, but here is a suggestion for a good Myprotein product.
Myprotein’s 5-HTP has an excellent quality/price relation, with a cost of 0.15 euros per capsule.
It’s available here.
Caffeine is a classic in weight loss supplements, and with good reason.
There are three reasons for using caffeine specifically at this stage.
It slightly increases the metabolism, helps a little with the appetite and gives energy.
The direct increase in metabolism is not very significant, as you would expect, and the biggest impact is on people who are not used to it.
It can help control the appetite, but the most important thing is even the increase of energy, which in this type of diets, usually decreases.
By being able to maintain energy levels, you get better training, and thus, better results.
But not only that.
Maintaining energy levels during the day is also important, since if you feel less energetic, you tend to stay at home watching a series instead of going for a walk.
Or go by car to a place you usually walk.
This will make you burn fewer calories in your day to day, which is obviously something you don’t want.
Attention, this doesn’t mean it makes sense for you to take a coffee shower, and you should adjust the dose to your tolerance.
5-HTP does not work miracles, but it is probably the most interesting supplement in the market to lose weight.
The most important thing is, and always will be, food.
In fact, as you may have noticed, the biggest asset of this supplement is to help you to follow a good diet, since it acts on the main difficulties that appear in a low-calorie diet.
Appetite, sleep and mood.
This is what makes it a valuable ally at this stage, and the reason why we consider it the best supplement for those who want to lose weight.
If you also add Caffeine, you get a very effective, and economical, pair to help you lose weight and burn fat.
Leave your opinion in the comments below if you have already tried it, or if you prefer another supplement, do not keep it a secret and tell us what it is!
Less weight, (even) without diet
Cangiano C, Ceci F, Cascino A, Del Ben M, Laviano A, Muscaritoli M, Antonucci F, Rossi-Fanelli F. Eating behavior and adherence to dietary prescriptions in obese adult subjects treated with 5-hydroxytryptophan. Am J Clin Nutr. 1992 Nov;56(5):863-7
The 5-HTP and the brain